Election Day Tuesday Reads

Good Day, Sky Dancers!!

The big day has arrived. This election truly has historic significance. We won’t know the results for sure tonight, but in a day or so we’ll have a sense of whether U.S. democracy can survive. I’m no expert, but this guy is:

No one really know whether to believe the polls, but the media has already decided that a red wave is coming. It’s also likely that results in a number of states won’t be clear for some time, and of course we know that Republicans plan to contest any losses and generally cause mayhem wherever they can. Here’s a piece from a couple of days ago on the coming confusion.

Charlie Mahtesian at Politico: The looming election disaster.

It’s time to talk about it out loud: This year’s election is going to be a train wreck. Not just Election Day, but the weeks and perhaps even months to come.

For starters, it might not be clear who controls the House for days, or longer. In the Senate, it could be weeks. In fact, if the polling averages are correct, we might not know who controls the Senate until after a potential early December runoff in Georgia.

But that’s the least of the trouble ahead. All the elements of a perfect storm are present: a rise in threats against election administrators and poll workers; outdated and overstrained election infrastructure; a brain drain of officials experienced with the complexities of administering elections; external cyber threats; and an abundance of close races that could extend long past Election Day as mail-in and provisional ballots are counted, recounted and litigated.

Then, there are the hundreds of Republican candidates up and down the ballot with a record of denying or expressing doubts about the 2020 presidential results — a few were even present at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. At least a dozen candidates running in competitive Senate and governor and secretary of state contests refused to commit or declined to respond when asked whether they’ll accept the results of their races.

Great train wreck of 1918

Great train wreck of 1918

A blowout Republican victory might remove many of the most combustible elements. But short of a red wave Tuesday, we’re looking at an ugly finish.

If those prominent election-denying candidates lose, it will not be graciously — remember, these are candidates whose political brands are rooted in their refusal to accept the 2020 election results, and their own high-profile and extra-legal efforts to overturn them. For them, the traditional pain and disappointment of defeat will be amplified because of the high expectations of midterm GOP success. And there are no party graybeards who will be able to talk them down — in fact, the post-election recriminations will likely find backing from party leaders and elected officials who fear antagonizing a base that’s been primed to believe the 2020 election was rigged.

The wellspring of these false claims, former President Donald Trump, is already laying the predicate — last week, he sought to cast doubt on the integrity of Pennsylvania’s results by claiming the 2022 results there are rigged as well.

Click the link to read the rest.

Another article on the upcoming confusion by Kelly Weill at The Daily Beast: These Counties Already Want a Recount and the Votes Aren’t Even In Yet.

The morning before polls opened in Cochise County, Arizona, a judge still had not ruled on how local votes would be counted.

On one side of the case were state officials and voters who opposed an effort to audit Tuesday’s election by hand. Arguing in favor of an audit were some of Cochise County’s Republican officials, backed by lawyers previously involved in a chaotic 2021 election audit in Arizona’s Maricopa County. Only on Monday evening—hours before the election—did a judge rule against a hand recount of the entire Cochise vote.

Train wreck in Iowa with hazardous materials, May 2021

Train wreck in Iowa with hazardous materials, May 2021

Cochise, a rural county on the southern border, is one of several to preemptively call for an audit of its 2022 midterm vote. Although counties routinely review their elections, this new wave of audit enthusiasts is cozy with conspiracy theorists, and promotes methods like hand-counting ballots, which elections security experts describe as one of the most surefire ways to accidentally introduce errors into a vote count.

Hand-counting ballots is a bad idea, elections experts say. They cost more, take longer, and open opportunities for meddling from partisan kooks (see: the Maricopa audit, during which conspiracy-driven volunteers searched ballots for bamboo fibers, under the mistaken belief that ballots had been imported from China). Even without involvement from election truthers, hand counts are more error-prone than electronic counts. A 2018 study found hand counts to be less accurate than machine-counts, and a 2012 study found hand counts to have 2 percent error rate—a worryingly high margin that could tip elections, particularly in neck-and-neck races like several in this year’s midterms….

But Republicans are demanding hand recounts anyway.

Some of the loudest calls for preemptive audits come from Republican strongholds in swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Officials in Pennsylvania’s Lycoming and York counties have already committed to hand recounts, although York County officials said it would only examine ballots from three of its 161 precincts.

York County’s decision to hand-audit its election came after a meeting between York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler and Audit the Vote PA, the York Dispatch reported. ATVPA, an election-denial group, previously made headlines for an error-riddled “canvass report” of Pennsylvania voters. While conducting that survey, ATVPA volunteers knocked on doors and asked questions about residents’ votes, leading to York County locals accusing the group of intimidation and voter suppression efforts. ATVPA has also attempted to remove electronic voting machines in York County.

Wheeler, who did not return a request for comment on Monday, told CBS21 that the hand recount “is not tied to any election issues in the past. This is not an indication that we believe that prior election results that we certified are inaccurate.”

No, it’s an indication that Republicans want to fuck things up.

The DOJ is planning to monitor the polls in 24 states.

From the Justice Department website:

The Justice Department announced today its plans to monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws in 64 jurisdictions in 24 states for the Nov. 8, 2022 general election. Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Division has regularly monitored elections in the field in jurisdictions around the country to protect the rights of voters. The Civil Rights Division will also take complaints from the public nationwide regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center. The Civil Rights Division enforces the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot.

For the general election, the Civil Rights Division will monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws on Election Day and/or in early voting in 64 jurisdictions….

Monitors will include personnel from the Civil Rights Division and from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. In addition, the division also deploys monitors from the Office of Personnel Management, where authorized by federal court order. Division personnel will also maintain contact with state and local election officials.

The Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section enforces the civil provisions of federal statutes that protect the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act and the Civil Rights Acts. The division’s Disability Rights Section enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that persons with disabilities have a full and equal opportunity to vote. The division’s Criminal Section enforces federal criminal statutes that prohibit voter intimidation and voter suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion.

On Election Day, Civil Rights Division personnel will be available all day to receive complaints from the public related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws by a complaint form on the department’s website https://civilrights.justice.gov/ or by telephone toll-free at 800-253-3931.

Individuals with questions or complaints related to the ADA may call the department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 833-610-1264 (TTY) or submit a complaint through a link on the department’s ADA website, at https://www.ada.gov/.

Complaints related to disruption at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local election officials (including officials in the polling place). Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local police authorities by calling 911. These complaints should also be reported to the department after local authorities have been contacted.

See the list of cities and counties that will be monitored at the link above.

What polling experts are writing about this morning:

When we launched our midterms forecast on June 30, Republicans had a 53 percent chance of taking over the Senate from Democrats, and an 87 percent chance of taking over the House.

We could almost have turned our servers off and let that forecast stand. Today, in our final forecast of the cycle, Republicans have a 59 percent chance of winning the Senate and an 84 percent chance of winning the House….

First, let’s talk a bit more about that final GOP Senate number, 59 percent. It’s in an annoying zone as far as I’m concerned. If I met you on the street, I wouldn’t know how to describe the race. It’s on the brink between a toss-up and one that we say leans toward Republicans. And to make matters more confusing, that 59 percent figure comes from our Deluxe forecast, which includes the input of human expert forecasters like the Cook Political Report. The Lite forecast (essentially a “polls only” version) and the Classic forecast (polls plus other objective indicators) have Republicans as just 50 and 51 percent “favorites,” respectively.

I don’t want to blow off that 59 percent number. Deluxe is supposed to be the most accurate version of our model. To be blunt, 59 percent is enough of an edge that if you offered to let me bet on Republicans at even money, I’d take it. (If I bet on politics, that is. Which I don’t.) Still, Democrats holding the Senate, or the race coming down to a runoff in Georgia, would not be surprising in the least.  

In the House, meanwhile, you shouldn’t round the Republicans’ 84 percent chance up to 100 or the Democrats’ 16 percent chance down to zero. Two years ago, Republicans had just a 3 percent chance of winning the House in our final forecast and yet came within five seats of doing so. The balance of the evidence suggests a national political environment that favors Republicans by only 2 to 3 percentage points. And the polling itself, if anything, has been a little tighter than that. (Democrats have a 25 percent chance to keep the House in the polls-only Lite version of our forecast. After the redistricting process, Republicans have less of an advantage from gerrymandering and district boundaries than they did previously, so a roughly tied national environment would lead to a highly competitive race for the House — see yesterday’s post for much more detail on this.)

At the same time, the upside case for Republicans has perhaps been understated. Our model puts the 80th percentile range of outcomes in the House at between a one-seat and a 33-seat GOP gain; and remember, 20 percent of the time, the number will fall outside that range. Just as it isn’t that hard for the race in the House to become rather competitive, it also won’t take much to turn it into a Republican landslide.

Similarly, just because we’ll start the night with roughly 50-50 odds in the Senate does not necessarily mean we’ll finish the night with the balance of power determined by just one or two seats. Fairly often, all the competitive races break the same way in races for Congress. There’s almost a 25 percent chance that Republicans wind up with 53 or more seats, according to our Deluxe forecast (and a 7 percent chance that Democrats do so).

Cohn attempted to test whether there are really Trump voters who refuse to take polls and so are invisible. They compared the results of a poll that paid participants $25 to respond with a traditional poll. You can read aboaut  it at the NYT. if you’re interested. The gist is that paying people worked to get more responses:

The data is still preliminary, and it will probably take at least six months, if not longer, before we can reach any final conclusions. But there is one immediate difference between the two groups, and that is in the polls’ response rates: Nearly 30 percent of households have responded to the survey so far — a figure dwarfing the 1.6 percent completion rate in the parallel Times/Siena poll.

But do Democrats also refuse to respond to poll callers? I know I rarely answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize, and rarely respond to polls when they do get through to me.

One more from Simon Rosenberg, who thinks things are looking good for Democrats. Check out his election morning thread on Twitter:

Simon Rosenberg at NDN last night: On This 2022 Election Eve Would Rather Be Us Than Them.

So I just published an updated analysis of the 2022 election with a day to go. My bottom line – it’s a close, competitive election.  Dems have checked all the recent intensity boxes – strong performance in 5 House specials/Kansas, spiked voter registration post-Dobbs, far superior candidate fundraising, big early vote performance.  Rs haven’t checked any of these intensity boxes. Polls and early vote on balance have been far better for Dems in recent days than Rs.  A red wave may be coming but it is not here yet.

Heading into Election Day I’d rather be us than them.

You can catch me talking about the 2022 elections in a new Politico Playbook Deep Dive interview with Ryan Lizza; a new Deep State Radio podcast with Cecile Richards; a MSNBC segment with Joy Reid; a Meidas Touch pod; a NoLie pod with Brian Tyler Cohen; and a memorable chat with the venerable Rick Wilson.  You can find all of these via this link

Some of Rosenberg’s analysis–go to the link to read the rest.

Dems Lead 50-39 In The Early Vote, Now With 4.4m Vote Lead

Using TargetEarly, the official data source for NBC News, we know the early vote is running between 8-10% higher than 2018, an election which had the highest turnout in almost 100 years.  Dems are running way above both 2018 and 2020, something which is a very direct challenge to the red wave narrative.  This is how the vote breaks down at this point in the last 3 elections:

2018 – 46%-45% (+1) – 600k vote lead

2020 – 48%-41% (+7) –  n/a

2020 – 50%-39% (+11) – 4.4m vote lead

It should be noted this 11 point lead is with an electorate older and whiter than 2018 and 2020, and with two of the nation’s largest states, CA/FL seeing drop offs for Dems from 2020.  All of this is very good news for Democrats.

Last night, citing the strong Dem performance in the early vote, famed journalist John Ralston called Nevada for Senator Cortez Masto.  In what must be concerning to Republicans here is a list of states where Dems are currently doing better relative to 2020 than Dems are in Nevada right now: AZ, GA, MI, MN, IA, IN, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, VA, WA, WI.  To be clear that means the early Dem vote “firewall” that led Ralston to call Nevada is actually bigger in all these states.  This too is good news for Democrats.

The Washington Post has a new story today from Arizona today, “Some in the party worry their assaults on early voting could ultimately suppress GOP turnout,” where questions have begun to be raised about why Rs decided to try to turn their voters out on a single day rather than over 2-3 weeks, as Democrats are doing. It’s a good question, as having more time to turn out voters in an election with far more irregular voters is kind of a no-brainer. The weeks Dems have had to turn out our voters has built powerful early vote leads in these states that may just be too big for the Rs to match tomorrow, particularly if their enthusiasm for voting has waned, as this new NBC News poll finds….

In another worrisome bit of data for the Rs the variance from the final early vote results and the final election results in 2018 and 2020 was 2-4 points.  Tomorrow Dems will enter Election Day with an 11 point lead, meaning Rs will have to have an Election Day turnout many magnitudes better than either party in the last two elections.  Can it be done? We will find out.

We have a big day and night ahead, and probably difficult days and weeks will follow. Hang in there everyone, and please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread. Have a great day and, of course, vote if you haven’t already done so.

30 Comments on “Election Day Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:
  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. MsMass says:

    I can’t get behind the paywall but the WAPO headline reads “ Desantis official says DOJ can’t monitor in 3 Florida counties “ . They’ve got a nerve!

  5. RonStill4Hillls says:

    Democracy….fun while it lasted.

    That people are even considering returning these fascists to power is mindboggling.

    I keep hoping against hope independents are going to shock everyone and reject the people that gleefully mocked an old man hit over the head with a hammer.

    Why does the media even talk about things like inflation, no one is voting for Herschel Walker because of inflation.

    It is MAGA vs Anti-MAGA. That is the only thing on the ballot anywhere.

    Is it too nihilist to say we get what we choose?

    I am so sick of the people who don’t vote, or vote stupid to send a message.

    I tried to watch something on The Young Turks the other day, OMG, if they could crawl out of Bernie Sanders old wrinkled a$$ for half a second, they would see that their undermining of Democratic candidates is helping Orange Jeebus more than Hannity.

    • NW Luna says:

      You and me both. The MAGAts are hopeless — they vote against their own best interests and are too stupid to be worth trying to convert. Then the other form of stupid — the “both parties are the same” or “The D candidate’s not perfect, so I won’t vote for her, but I’ll vote for this 3rd party candidate” who hasn’t a gnat’s chance in Hell of winning. This other type of stupid can’t even spell pragmatism, much less understand it.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    I’m with you Ron. Is it really worth sacrificing democracy for the fantasy that Republicans can do anything about global inflation? Or that they even care about it?

  7. Jacqueline Tate says:

    I moved from Atlanta to Ontario, Canada the week that Nixon stood on the White House lawn and declared “this president is not a crook”. And 8 days ago I paid $35. to mail in my ballot. I only get to vote for national offices, so I missed adding to Stacey Abrams total, and I’m sad about that.
    Here is an excellent opinion piece from today’s Toronto Star:


    • NW Luna says:

      At least you’re in a country with sensible gun laws! Do you have dual citizenship? I looked into moving to Canada when Trump got selected, but am old enough that it’s extremely difficult to meet qualifications for citizenship, although my profession is in demand.

      • jackyt says:

        I read, recently, that Canada is planning on accepting 500,000 immigrants next year. (I know, it sounds extraordinary, but that’s what I read.) Canada is also desperately in need of health care workers.. Long story short: it might be worth a try!

  8. NW Luna says:

    Alexandra Petri, like the rest of us, has had it with political ads.

    Every nightmarish political TV ad I have seen so far

    Do Not Vote For This Candidate! She Is Nancy Pelosi’s Clone Made In A Vat.

    Vote For Me! I Know How To Kickbox, A Skill I Intend To Make Relevant In Congress.

    My Opponent Will Waste Your Hard-Earned Dollars On Educating The Hated Children

    Do Not Vote For This Candidate! She Once Approved A Budget.

    Vote For Me! I Have A Gun And This Is A Threat.

    I Hate To Say This, But My Opponent Genuinely Has No Plans For Anything Other Than Something She Keeps Calling “The Great Elemental Purging Fire”

    Fifteen Seconds Of Screams (Negative)

    Fifteen Seconds Of Screams (Positive)

    I’m A Woman In A Sweater Speaking Calmly Into The Camera About The Fact That If Elected This Person Would Have Jailed Me For My Ectopic Pregnancy

    This Candidate Will Stop Socialist Joe Biden From Forcing Medicare Dollars Down Helpless Seniors’ Throats

    My Opponent Wants Winter To Come Sometimes! I Don’t, And That’s A Promise.

    I Don’t Mean To Worry You, But My Opponent Seems To Know Literally Nothing About Anything And What He Does Know Is Very Inaccurate

    I Do Mean To Worry You: My Opponent Is A Socialist Demon Who Was Predicted In The Book Of Revelation

    I Am Certainly Not Big Oil And I Love This Candidate

    My Opponent Is Lying Again! This Out-of-Context Remark Proves It!

    It Is A Terrifying Scheme That Combines A Misunderstanding Of Physics With A Misunderstanding Of Many Other Things.

    My Opponent Will Install Laminate Flooring For You With No Interest And No Money Down For One Year Oh Wait Never Mind This Was Not A Political Ad

  9. NW Luna says:

    Russia’s heavy casualties in Ukraine spark outcry and rare official response

    Steep Russian casualties in key battles in eastern Ukraine have prompted an unusual public outcry — and sharp criticism of military commanders — by surviving soldiers and family members of recently conscripted fighters, who say their units were led to slaughter in poorly planned operations.

    The uproar over battlefield losses near Vuhledar in the Donetsk region prompted an official statement from the Russian Defense Ministry, which sought to play down the reportedly high death toll among soldiers in the 155th Separate Guards Marine Brigade, which led Moscow’s offensive in the area.

    It was the first time since the start of Russia’s invasion that the ministry has officially responded to reports of mass casualties and criticism of commanders on Telegram, the main platform used by officials as well as by reporters and bloggers covering the Russian war.

    Criticizing the war — or even calling it a war rather than a “special military operation” — is illegal in Russia. But the Kremlin in recent months has tolerated criticism of the military’s poor performance by pro-war hawks who back the invasion, including some demanding even more brutal tactics in Ukraine.

    The governor, Kozhemyako, at first dismissed the letter as a “potential fake planted” by Ukrainians but later issued a video message saying he had contacted the officers on the front line who confirmed there had been heavy fighting and losses. However, he said, “the number is not as high as it’s written in this letter.”

    Moscow’s top brass are also now trying to fend off another public scandal after residents of Voronezh, a city in a strategic Russian region near the Ukrainian border, complained that recently conscripted men from the region had been sent unprepared to Svatove, a town in the Luhansk region that has been the site of fierce battles. Hundreds may have died, according to Russian outlet Verstka.
    “For three days they were under shelling. They tried to survive the best they could. … They had no food and no sleep. They held up for three days and didn’t flee, unlike their commanding officers,” Inna Popova, the wife of a soldier, said in a video address recorded by the soldiers’ family members and posted by Verstka.

    Russia and Ukrainian forces are each preparing for a bitter winter that will complicate virtually every aspect of the war, from logistics to morale to the physical health of the troops. For Ukraine, the approaching cold weather will be increasingly difficult to tolerate after weeks of Russia attacks on the country’s energy.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    • quixote says:

      One of the many parallels to 1930s Germany is that the cost of living was the Hitler-attracted Germans big issue. (They didn’t call it ‘cost of living’ then, but in current words that’s what it was.)

      The attitude that it’s the ‘price of gas’ that you vote on is not unique to shortsighted USians.

  11. bostonboomer says:

  12. bostonboomer says:

    11:30PM here and it’s looking a lot better for Democrats. Also people voting for bodily autonomy for women in multiple states, including Kentucky and Montana.

    Lauren Boebert may lose. Maggie Hassan won in NH, Patty Murray won, Warnock could still win, and Fetterman looks good.

    • NW Luna says:

      Glad about Murray winning again. It was looking close-ish, but I think our local press was trying to create tension. She’s got a lot of power from being in the Senate so long, and is excellent on environment, education, labor rights, and most women’s issues.

  13. NW Luna says:

    Welp. I looked at the WaPo and now I’m going to go cuddle with cats and avoid the news.

    Grassley projected to win another term in “unexpectedly close contest.

    Abbott in Texas over Beto.

    Warner? not clear, he’s slightly behind (can you effin’ imagine this?), and it may go to runoff.

    Sara Sanders wins in Arkansas. Only partial highlight is she’s not an election denier.

    Vermont finally gets a woman in Congress, Becca Balint. WaPo has forgotten that lesbians exist and calls her the “first openly gay person” to be Rep from VT.

    Maryland legalized pot for adults.

    Schumer gets a 5th term for NY.

    Top issue for R voters: inflation. (yeah, like the Repugs are really gonna help you suckers with that.) Top issue for D voters: abortion.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Dems could gain a Senate seat. First woman and first openly gay governor in Massachusetts. Fetterman won, Boebert is losing, Warnock will win the GA runoff. Kari Lake losing in Arizona, other Dems winning there. Lots of good news for Dems.